POWDER MONKEY by Paul Doswell

POWDER MONKEY

Adventures of a Young Sailor
Age Range: 12 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Pressed into service aboard a Napoleonic-era British frigate, a lad finds himself amid rough company, with only the gnawing fear of violent death to offer relief from the nauseating food, brutish bosuns’ mates, sneering officers and constant threats of flogging. Dowswell has done his historical homework, though he presents the results awkwardly by having characters explain such terms as “prize money” at length to young Sam while tiptoeing past foul language and homosexuality with only oblique references. Still, readers who prefer their wooden decks awash in blood “and worse” will not be disappointed—and even Sam, having survived (unlike nearly all of his shipmates) cannon fire, capture and shipwreck, opts to return to the Navy rather than escape back to his native Norfolk. Stronger on terror than triumph, this isn’t quite as rousing as the likes of Michael Molloy’s Peter Raven Under Fire (p. 687) or Gerald Hausman’s tales of Tom Cringle, but voracious fans of the nautical genre will happily sign on. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58234-675-5
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005




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